As slot games have become more and more advanced, so too have the bonus features offered. Where you once had a single wild or maybe even a small bonus game, now developers can add masses of features to video slots creating a world of potential bonuses.
Of course, your opinion on whether this influx of bonus features is a good thing or not largely depends on whether you prefer simple game play or enjoy a fast paced game with plenty of variety. The number of options for bonus features is extremely large and there's no way we could summarise them all here. Therefore, we've compiled a short explanation for some of the most common.
Wild symbols substitute for all other icons with the typical exception of the scatter or other bonus symbols. This alone can substantially increase both the number of winning combinations you make and the payout you receive from them. However, there are also variations of wilds including Expanding Wilds, which cover the whole reel, Stacked Wilds, which appear in blocks and Random Wilds that are thrown across the reels.
Another feature that has been around for a while is the scatter symbol. As the name suggests, scatter symbols are counted wherever they land on the reels, even if it's not on an active payline. They are also commonly used to trigger bonus games and free spins rounds.
Most contemporary video slots will offer a free spins bonus feature. This is usually activated by landing a predetermined number of a specific symbol. Free spins are immensely popular, not just because you basically get to play for free but also because free spins rounds are often where big wins are most likely to be made.
These may take the form of picking from a selection of icons or guiding a character to obtain cash prizes, free spins, multipliers or other benefits. They are usually pretty simple to play and mix things up a little allowing players a bit of a break from the reels.